Dependency theory holds that the condition of underdevelopment is precisely the result of the incorporation of the Third World economies into the capitalist world system which is dominated by the West and North, hence in development studies, dependency implies a situation in which a particular country or region relies on another for support, “survival” and growth. The third world countries are the economically underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, considered as an entity with common characteristics, such as poverty, high birth-rates, and economic dependence on the advanced countries. The term therefore implies that the third world is exploited, and that its destiny is a revolutionary one. Distinctively, the underdevelopment of the third world is marked by a number of common traits, distorted and highly dependent economies devoted to producing primary products for the developed world and to provide markets for their finished goods, traditional, rural social structures, high population growth, and widespread of poverty. This essay will discuss the two theories which are dependency theory as well as the modernisation theory, and also discuss how Europe underdeveloped Africa.
Hays (2001) defines dependency as an explanation of the economic development of a state in terms of the external influences political, economic, and cultural on national development. Theotonio (2000) states that dependency theory is an historical condition which shapes a certain structure of the world economy such that it favours some countries to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the subordinate economics, it is also defined as a situation in which the economy of a certain group of countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected (Ferraro, 2008). A more direct challenge to the modernisation theory emerged in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the form of the dependency theory. This theory owes its origin to the writings of Baran (1957), Prebisch (1971) and Frank (1971). Drawing on the notion of inequality between the industrial nations and the non-industrial world, dependency theory refers to the former as the “core” and the latter as the “periphery.” Contrary to modernisation theory, dependency theory views development from the perspective of the impact of exogenous forces on the periphery. In the dependency theory, capitalism is understood as a world system that contains an inherent core-periphery duality or “metropolis-satellite” concept (Smith, 2005) that determines the developmental potentialities of different countries. Dependency is defined as a “situation in which a certain number of countries have their economy conditioned by the development and expansion of another” (Emeh, 2012). Thus, the possibility of development is determined by the relationship of exploitation that exists between the “core and periphery.” The dependency theory, furthermore, locates the dynamics of exploitation in the transfer of the periphery’s resources to the core through a process of unequal exchange on the international market (Emmanuel, 1999). The core accumulates its resources for modern development through exploiting periphery countries, consequently under developing them. Increasingly throughout the twentieth century, terms of trade moved against primary products in favour of technologically more sophisticated goods. This unequal exchange acted as a further drain on the surpluses of the periphery and inhibited the process of capital accumulation (Kyari, 2008). The dependency approach is consistent with the earlier Marxist theories of imperialism that focused on how the exploitation of the colonial labour force reduced the costs of commodities thereby cheapening the cost of reproducing the working class in the advanced countries as well as keeping the core working class politically more pliant (Barrett, 2006).Dependency theory attempts to explain the present underdeveloped state of many nations in the world by examining the patterns of interactions among nations and by arguing that inequality among nations is anintrinsic part of those interactions.
The modernisation theory argues that development involves facilitating the post-colonial world along the path to progress towards modernity. The route from traditional society to modern society was named the “process of modernisation” (Sylvester, 1999). Modernisation is defined as “the process of social change whereby less developed societies acquire characteristics common to more developed societies” (Mol, 2000). It is striking to note that the modernisation theory explains the prevalence of extreme poverty in poorer countries, primarily, as a consequence of endogenous forces. The traditional social structures are alleged to lack certain developmental ingredients – or “change agents – that had propelled the processes of modernisation formation in the West” (Greig, 2007). Mar (2008) defined modernisation as a process of transforming from traditional or underdeveloped society to a modern western societies way of life. From the definition, modernisation is a developmental process which was derived from the steps followed by western countries when they were doing their development (Easterly, 2002).
How Europe underdeveloped Africa
Underdevelopment is a term frequently used to allude to financial underdevelopment, manifestations of which incorporate need of access to openings for work, medicinal services, drinkable water, nourishment, instruction and lodging (Emeh, 2012). It happens when assets are not used to their full financial potential, with the outcome that nearby or territorial advancement is slower as a rule than it ought to be. Besides, it results from the mind boggling exchange of inner and outside factors that permit less created nations just a hack sided improvement movement, subsequently immature countries are described by a wide uniqueness between their rich and poor populaces, and an unfortunate parity of exchange (Eranga, 2009). Burkun (2003) states that underdevelopment expresses a particular relationship of exploitation namely, the exploitation of one country by another. All of the countries named as ‘’underdeveloped’’ in the world are exploited by others and the underdevelopment with which the world is now preoccupied is a product of capitalist, imperialist, and colonialist exploitation.
The underdeveloped nations therefore have become and remain underdeveloped because they are economically dominated by developed capitalist nations that have continually been extracting wealth from them. Nnadozie (2004) asserted that the underdevelopment of the third world is marked by a number of common traits; distorted and highly dependent economies devoted to producing primary products for the developed world and to provide markets for their finished goods, traditional, rural social structures, high population growth, and widespread poverty. Despite the widespread poverty of the countryside and the urban shantytowns, the ruling elites of most third world countries are outrageously wealthy (Woldu, 2000). The wind of change of the late 50’s and 60’s had liberated all the third world countries.
Modernization and dependency theories are two forcefully alternate points of view trying to clarify a similar reality. Modernization hypothesis places that areas experience developmental stages and that industrialization and enhanced innovation are keys to forward developments. Reliance on the hand sees modernization hypothesis as Eurocentric and disparaging. They give significant bits of knowledge into underdevelopment. They give a preventative take in the risks of endeavoring to make widespread hypotheses. Dependency theory relies upon traditional financial hypothesis that people are discerning monetary on-screen characters distinctive in their conduct and circumstance and the modernization hypothesis is subject to a hypothesis that all countries take after a foreordained verifiable way.
Name: Andiswa Thandeka Nzuza
Student No: 217036285
Module: Sociology 202
Essay Topic: Learning from dependency and modernisation theory, critically evaluate and discuss how Europe under developed Africa.
Due Date: 02 October 2018
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